US Coal Exports
Exports Economic Contributions Report
Jun 19 2013

Study Confirms Washington State Benefits from Coal Exports (The Columbian)

Posted in All News, U.S. Ports

Study: Coal exports a gain for whole state

By Jim Camden, The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review

OLYMPIA — Building new coal terminals near Bellingham and Longview will have major economic benefits for the entire state, a new study conducted for the Washington Farm Bureau suggests.

“All Washington exporters stand to benefit,” John Stuhmiller, Farm Bureau director, said. More trains and bigger terminals will help Northwest farmers, who export most of their wheat and some of their other crops.

“We have to trade; we have to import,” state Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said at the news conference to announce the report.

But opponents of the terminals and the increase in coal trains that would feed them say there are negative impacts, too, that the state should study before the Gateway Pacific and Millennium terminals are approved. That would include the cost of upgrading rail crossings to handle the increased traffic and delays for more and longer trains where communities are divided by tracks.

“There are huge economic impacts,” said state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle. “You have to look at the whole picture, both sides of the coin.”

The study, by professor Steven Globerman of Western Washington University’s College of Business and Finance, contends the debate over the coal terminals should consider increases in income for people outside of Bellingham and Longview as train traffic expands to serve the ports. Transportation costs should drop, and with it the costs of the goods shipped and prices to consumers.

Trade with Asian countries would expand, offering the state “a unique opportunity to become economically wealthier by intensifying its long-standing competitive advantage as a gateway to trade,” Globerman wrote. He couldn’t quantify the growth, but believes previous studies have underestimated the total economic benefits.

Hard numbers is what the state should seek, of both economic pluses and minuses, in a comprehensive analysis of the proposed coal ports, Carlyle said. Legislative proposals to require such an analysis have not yet been successful but “we’re not letting it go.”

See article here.

  • “The fact that we’re no longer in the age of energy scarcity – that we’re in the age of energy abundance – positions the United States in a totally different place. This gives access to affordable, reliable energy in the United States, and gives the U.S. a major competitive advantage.”
    – Dave Banks, Special Assistant to President Donald Trump for International Energy, June 2017
  • “It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources, while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation. Moreover, the prudent development of these natural resources is essential to ensuring the Nation's geopolitical security.”
    – Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth, March 28, 2017
  • “Historically, U.S. companies seeking to expand their revenues focused first on increasing their number and share of U.S customers. For years, this focus served as a winning strategy for many of the most successful U.S. companies. Today, global economic trends make clear that successful companies are those that reach and sell to consumers outside U.S. borders and around the globe.”
    — 2011 National Export Strategy, U.S. Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee
  • “Federal regulatory agencies should not require climate change studies in the course of their permitting processes for proposed facilities. Coal will be consumed around the world regardless of U.S. trade policy. The only question is whether the coal is produced here in North America, where environmental standards are high, or elsewhere.”
    — U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, January 7, 2014
  • “At present 19% of the world’s population, 1.3 billion people, lack access to electricity and on New Policy Scenario projections there will still be 1 billion people without such access in 2030. To meet the UN Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2015, 395 million more people need access to electricity. There is a strong correlation between electrification and improvement in the United Nations’ Human Development Index.”
    — International Energy Agency, Coal Industry Advisory Board
  • “Access to electricity is strongly correlated with every measurable indicator of human development”
    — Berkeley Science Review, 2008

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